So UFC.com just released the promotion’s “unofficial” picks for the best five fights of 2013 so far (how that fan fight at UFC 161 didn’t make the list is anyone’s guess), which can only mean that the time of great debate is upon us once again. From hottest pornstar girlfriend to favorite non-Rocky fight film of all time, the past couple of weeks have been a veritable hotbed of master-debating here at CP, so we expect you Taters to bring the same hellfire and vitriol to this list as you would any other. Let’s get to the nominees…
How They Described It: In the first women’s bout to ever take place in the UFC
Octagon, bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and challenger Liz Carmouche made history with style. Yet despite Rousey’s status as the Queen of the sport, Carmouche nearly spoiled the party when she had the champion seconds away from a submission defeat. In the end though, it was Rousey prevailing late in the first round with her trademark armbar.
How We Described It: Above all else though, Rousey and Carmouche deserve respect for shattering not only the ceiling for women in the UFC, but the glass ceilings that fans placed on female fighters. Say what you want about women not being as strong or fast as men, or that the talent pool isn’t as deep (as opposed to the stacked men’s flyweight division), or keep talking about the ability to dunk a basketball like it even remotely matters*. Just don’t say that women don’t belong at our sport’s highest level of competition. If you value the quality of the fights over the sexes of the athletes, you walked away from last night’s main event excited about future women’s matchups.
How They Described It: Against hard-hitting number one contender John Dodson, Demetrious Johnson’s first flyweight title defense became a battle for survival in the first two rounds of their UFC on FOX main event in January. But showing the heart of a champion, “Mighty Mouse” roared back in the final three frames to not only retain his title via unanimous decision, but also pick up Fight of the Night honors with his game challenger.
How We Described It: I know the flyweights aren’t nearly as respected as they should be in some parts of the fight community, but if you’re still in those parts after last night’s performance, do us all a favor, stop reading and get the fuck out. Because what you just witnessed was one of the best, if not the best 5-round title fights in the promotion’s history.
How They Described It: The old mixed martial arts adage is that when you pit two quality wrestlers against each other in the Octagon, a standup brawl will ensue, and Dennis Bermudez and Matt Grice certainly did their part to prove that to be true, as they engaged in a fast-paced scrap that thrilled fans from start to finish. When it was over, Bermudez earned the decision win, but Grice lost no stature whatsoever in defeat.
How We Described It: Fight of the Night went to the three round war that was Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice. These two featherweights absolutely stole the show with this fight. In the end, Bermudez won by decision. (Ed note: Way to phone it in, Shunick.)
How They Described It: Most expected the bout between Wanderlei Silva and Brian Stann to be a standup battle, but no one could have forecast the intense slugfest that the two light heavyweights delivered for nine minutes and eight seconds until the legendary “Axe Murderer” emerged with a stirring knockout victory. Calling it epic would be an understatement.
How We Described It: In a performance that all but transcended “The Axe Murderer’s” legendary history with PRIDE and the nation of Japan, Wandy and Brian Stann channeled Don Frye vs. Yoshihiro Takayama in what quickly became our frontrunner for Fight of the Year. Caution was thrown to the wind with the first exchange of wild haymakers, strategy was granted a similar exit with the second, and by the third exchange, both fighters had both been through Hell and back. But somehow, despite years of abuse and an ever-increasing knockout loss ratio, Wanderlei’s chin held up and even outlasted that of the tough-nosed Marine, until a violent exchange shut Stann’s lights out late in the second. And just like that, Wanderlei cleared another hurdle in his secretive lifelong quest to make Michael Bisping look like a pussy.
How They Described It: On any other card, the UFC 158 co-main event between Johny Hendricks and Carlos Condit at Bell Centre would have been a main event. Regardless, the two welterweight contenders fought like headliners, with Hendricks squeezing out a close, but unanimous, decision win in an instant classic that cemented Hendricks’ claim to the number one contender’s spot in the division and also secured Condit’s place as one of the most exciting fighters in the sport.
How We Described It:
UFC.com’s list of honorable mentions included: CB Dollaway-Daniel Sarafian, Jose Aldo-Frankie Edgar, Tom Watson-Stanislav Nedkov, Brad Pickett-Mike Easton, Pat Healy-Jim Miller, Matt Brown-Jordan Mein, Cat Zingano- Miesha Tate, Thiago Silva-Rafael Cavalcante, Junior dos Santos-Mark Hunt, Benson Henderson-Gilbert Melendez.
So now, we turn the debate unto you, Nation. What would your top five list look like and why is everyone else a worthless piece of gutter trash for not agreeing with you? We expect a filthy, totally unfair fight, and make sure to protect your reputation at all times.